Highways England has advertised the first deal in its much-anticipated new-look East Midlands roads maintenance package.
The client placed a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union calling for expressions of interest in £300M of maintenance and response work in Area 7.
This represents the first of four deals in the region as Highways England moves away from the overarching asset support contracts it has used elsewhere.
Contractors will need a directly employed workforce to be selected for the work, which will include routine highway maintenance services; defect repairs; emergency incident response; severe weather service; and similar duties.
Three separate contracts will follow for design, capital works and specialist services, while Highways England will also bring key elements of the overall package back in house.
Area 7 is currently held by the Aone+ consortium under an old-style managing agent contractor deal. This is due to expire next summer but will not now follow the other 11 areas in being replaced by an asset support contract.
Area 7 future development programme director Jenny Moten said: “This is a significant change in the way we work in the East Midlands. For the first time we will be taking control of our roads, directly engaging suppliers to help drive down cost and waste, and providing the best possible value for money for taxpayers.
“This new way of working will help us develop a successful, long term relationship with the successful contractor for up to 15 years.”
Speaking at NCE’s UK Roads 2105 conference last week, Highways England network delivery and development director David Brewer said the new East Midlands operating model was built around growing his team’s skills in terms of identifying network need and developing appropriate solutions.